CarsGuide Podcast: Tools in the Shed ep. 140
Episode 140 - The closest we'll get to a Defender ute
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Australia gets preview of updated Ferrari California T with new turbocharged engine.
Ferrari seems to have an annual program for launching exciting new models. Eighteen months ago it was the Ferrari F12, more recently they rolled out the stunning and super-fast hypercar, the LaFerrari, and now it's the turn of the California. Australia got an early look at the updates 'in the metal' this week, with customer cars dues to start arriving in November.
But unlike many updates that are just light or at best evolutionary facelifts, the changes for the Cali are revolutionary -- including a substantial price drop of almost $50,000. The California T -- 'T' standing for turbo -- is the first Ferrari road vehicle to be engineered with a turbocharger since the legendary F40 in 1987.
The California is an integral part of Ferrari's business selling some 10,000 units since it was introduced in 2008 – and bringing new people to the brand. Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth says a staggering 70 per cent of all California owners are first-time Ferrari buyers, they travel 30 per cent further than owners of other Ferrari models and used their vehicles 50 per cent more often, making the California a true 'everyday' Ferrari.
The California T arrives with a new high revving 3.9 litre V8 twin-turbo charged engine that produces an impressive 70HP more than it's naturally aspirated predecessor and generates a staggering 50 percent more torque. Maximum power output is now 412kW at 7500rpm and produces 755Nm at 4750rpm.
Maximum speed has increased by 6km/h to 316km/h thanks to the new twin-scroll turbo arrangement, while 0-100 km/h arrives in 3.6 seconds, a reduction of 0.2 and 0-200 in 11.2, a reduction of 2.1 seconds, scintillating performance from the Italian open top grand tourer.
The exterior has truly come of age with a sporty – but still elegant -- aerodynamic flair that salutes the depth of the company's heritage by incorporating past cues like flanks inspired by the 250 Testa Rossa. Working with Pininfarina, the Ferrari Styling Centre has created a sophisticated style that gives the 'Every Day' California T, an authentic Ferrari Grand Tourer look.
New 19" starburst designed wheels hide the carbon-ceramic brakes which now feature a upgraded pad that's designed to work in all conditions, resulting in reduced braking distances from 100 km/h – 0 in 34 metres. There are only two features carried over from the previous model, the retractable hard top roof that opens and closes in 14 seconds, and the chassis with its 47:53 front/rear weight distribution. Spring stiffness has been increased by 11% to reduce body roll and pitch with a steering rack that is now 10% quicker and offers more direct turn in giving the California T true sports car agility.
The 2 +2 interior has received subtle upgrades that make the California T more ergonomic and comfortable for the driver and passengers. The dash looks to be more compact and is slightly lower to aid visibility, larger and wider front seats with integrated headrests add appeal to the growing and diverse list of buyers.
Interior style and materials have also received a fresh update with the launch version showing off a well-appointed black and tan two-tone leather combo that looked stunning under the lights. Ferrari boasts they have 15 million different colour combinations to suit all tastes including two new colours designed especially for the California T, California (Red) and California (Blue).
Also featured was a new 458 styled steering wheel that incorporates wheel mounted controls with larger gear selector paddles that are attached closer to the wheel. The Manettino (Ferrari's traction and stability control system) has three functions, Sport, Comfort and Electronic Stability Control Off which add to the dynamic and sporty nature of the car when such a road calls for it.
Due to the significant increase in torque from the twin-turbo V8, Ferrari's 'F1-Trac' electronic stability system has now been integrated into the California T to enable better handling and traction especially out of fast corners. The seven-speed F1 dual clutch transmission features longer gear ratios that delivers faster longitudinal acceleration and assists to reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent.
With right hand drive versions still being built in Italy, no test drives were on offer with only the left hand drive model unveiled at the launch.
Frist published at MyDrive: VIDEO | Ferrari California T – Australia’s Official Preview
Ferrari California T
Price: from $409,880
Engine: 3.8L twin scroll turbo 412kW/755Nm
0-100km/h: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 316 km/h
Transmission: dual clutch 7-speed automatic